UNIONDALE NY - NOVEMBER 20: Mike Santorelli #13 of the Florida Panthers stickhandles the puck as goalie Dwayne Roloson #30 of the New York Islanders defends during the first period of a hockey game while Panthers Mike Weaver #43 looks for a rebound at the Nassau Coliseum on November 20 2010 in Uniondale New York. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
New York's Matt Moulson opened the scoring in a first period dotted with offensive zone miscues and numerous passes fired astray by Florida. Fortunately for the Cats, newly-minted coach Jack Capuano's Isles packed it in soon thereafter, as four unanswered goals in the second frame erased any talk of the Islanders putting the skids on an 11-game winless streak. Michael Santorelli secured the first two-goal game of his NHL career, highlighting an evening which saw ten different Panthers collect points. Awfully sweet and all to be on the winning end, but facing a club staring down the throat of its' worst winless stretch since the 1972-73 season shouldn't be lost on anyone.
The Florida power play continued to skip lazily through the tulips and rainbows enroute to yet another less-than-pro-league 0-for-5 showing, possibly fueled by nothing more than blind hope and waiting for the other guy to get into a formidable position...which none of them have evidently been instructed to do.
Not that anyone in authority is listening, but how about a little skating on the man advantage? More than circling back to the point? Something perhaps a bit more than passing to the rearguards while routinely allowing penalty killers to force a reaction from the forwards? It's been the same story all year: react, react, pass back, shoot, react, turn it over, chase puck to our own goal line, set up once more, react, react, turn it over. Oh, and repeat for the duration of two minutes.
Isn't that the precise opposite of what should be happening?
Not the sharpest knife so I'm likely alone here, but I'm failing to grasp the upside of a strategy which encourages defenders to dictate not only the offensive "strategy" but the failed outcome well in advance. Why be negative; by golly it just might work against Crosby, Malkin, and the rest of the Penguins' slackers on Monday...
Whatever; end of rant. A win's a win, we're all happy, back at .500, wear your blue, blah blah blah. Good effort all around after the end of the first period. And Tvo was spectacular when called upon.
Notes: Tomas Vokoun stopped 39 shots to gain the win; Dwayne Roloson finished with 27 saves. Dennis Wideman led all skaters with 24:51 TOI; Darcy Hordichuk turned in a solid 6:33 in a shut-down role late. Santorelli led both clubs with 7 SOG, followed by New York's Blake Comeau and Bruno Gervais with 5 apiece. Moulson's goal was unassisted. Bryan Allen collected 4 PIM while pacing the game with a +3 (1 assist). Shawn Matthias, Allen, Radek Dvorak, Christopher Higgins, David Booth, Stephen Weiss, Dmitry Kulikov, and Michael Frolik picked up assists for Florida as Weiss and Marty Reasoner added to Santorelli's goals. For those who may care, Michael Grabner was a -1 (2 SOG). Weiss left the game with an apparent ankle injury. More from the Uniondale Syndicate at Lighthouse Hockey here.
Next up: Pittsburgh from Sunrise on Monday. Live Game Chat at 7pm.